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Title: Climate Response to Negative Greenhouse Gas Radiative Forcing in Polar Winter

Abstract

Greenhouse gas (GHG) additions to Earth's atmosphere initially reduce global outgoing longwave radiation, thereby warming the planet. In select environments with temperature inversions, however, increased GHG concentrations can actually increase local outgoing longwave radiation. Negative top of atmosphere and effective radiative forcing (ERF) from this situation give the impression that local surface temperatures could cool in response to GHG increases. Here we consider an extreme scenario in which GHG concentrations are increased only within the warmest layers of winter near-surface inversions of the Arctic and Antarctic. We find, using a fully coupled Earth system model, that the underlying surface warms despite the GHG addition exerting negative ERF and cooling the troposphere in the vicinity of the GHG increase. This unique radiative forcing and thermal response is facilitated by the high stability of the polar winter atmosphere, which inhibit thermal mixing and amplify the impact of surface radiative forcing on surface temperature. These findings also suggest that strategies to exploit negative ERF via injections of short-lived GHGs into inversion layers would likely be unsuccessful in cooling the planetary surface.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  2. Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble (France)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1537312
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1426350
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012969
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Geology

Citation Formats

Flanner, M. G., Huang, X., Chen, X., and Krinner, G. Climate Response to Negative Greenhouse Gas Radiative Forcing in Polar Winter. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/2017gl076668.
Flanner, M. G., Huang, X., Chen, X., & Krinner, G. Climate Response to Negative Greenhouse Gas Radiative Forcing in Polar Winter. United States. doi:10.1002/2017gl076668.
Flanner, M. G., Huang, X., Chen, X., and Krinner, G. Mon . "Climate Response to Negative Greenhouse Gas Radiative Forcing in Polar Winter". United States. doi:10.1002/2017gl076668. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1537312.
@article{osti_1537312,
title = {Climate Response to Negative Greenhouse Gas Radiative Forcing in Polar Winter},
author = {Flanner, M. G. and Huang, X. and Chen, X. and Krinner, G.},
abstractNote = {Greenhouse gas (GHG) additions to Earth's atmosphere initially reduce global outgoing longwave radiation, thereby warming the planet. In select environments with temperature inversions, however, increased GHG concentrations can actually increase local outgoing longwave radiation. Negative top of atmosphere and effective radiative forcing (ERF) from this situation give the impression that local surface temperatures could cool in response to GHG increases. Here we consider an extreme scenario in which GHG concentrations are increased only within the warmest layers of winter near-surface inversions of the Arctic and Antarctic. We find, using a fully coupled Earth system model, that the underlying surface warms despite the GHG addition exerting negative ERF and cooling the troposphere in the vicinity of the GHG increase. This unique radiative forcing and thermal response is facilitated by the high stability of the polar winter atmosphere, which inhibit thermal mixing and amplify the impact of surface radiative forcing on surface temperature. These findings also suggest that strategies to exploit negative ERF via injections of short-lived GHGs into inversion layers would likely be unsuccessful in cooling the planetary surface.},
doi = {10.1002/2017gl076668},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 4,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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